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Zionism and Israel - Encyclopedic Dictionary
'Hovevei Tziyon - Definition

'Hovevei Tziyon - (Hebrew) - Associations of proto-Zionist study circles formed in Rumania, Russia, England, USA, France and elsewhere beginning about 1880 and continuing until about 1902 or 1903, when they merged into the Zionist movement.

Hovevei Tziyon was formed by coalescing members of individual groups of Hibat Tzion members. In 1882,  Hibat Zion/Hovevei Tziyon members founded Rishon LeZion. They later were reinforced by BILU pioneers. It was formerly claimed by some that the Bilu had founded Rishon Letzion, but that is certainly not correct. The Bilu movement grew out of Hibat Tziyon, and for time they worked in Rishon Letzion, but they did not found it.

In 1884, thirty-six delegates of Hibat Tziyon groups met in Kattowitz, Germany (now Katowice, Poland). Rabbi Samuel Mohilever was elected the president and Leon Pinsker the chairman of the organization they named Hovevei Zion. The group tried to get financial help from Baron Edmond James de Rothschild and other philanthropists to aid Jewish settlements and to organize educational courses.

In the Russian Empire, waves of anti-Jewish pogroms of 1881-1884, as well as the May Laws introduced by Tsar Alexander III of Russia in 1882, deeply affected Jewish communities. Numerous informal groups sprung up, varied in their views, political and religious affiliation, size and activities. The Warsaw group was found by Zamenhof".

To get legal recognition by the authorities, the Russian branch of Hovevei Zion was registered as a charity and approved by the Russian government early in 1890 as "The Society for the Support of Jewish Farmers and Artisans in Syria and Eretz Israel." It came to be known as "The Odessa Committee." It was devoted to practical Zionism: establishing agricultural settlements. Its projects in 1890-1891 included help in the founding of Rehovot and Hadera and rehabilitation of Mishmar HaYarden.

In 1897, before the First Zionist Congress, "The Odessa Committee" had over 4,000 members. As the Congress established the World Zionist Organization, most of the Hovevei Zion societies joined it.

Synonymsand alternate spellings: hovevei Tzion, Chovevei Zion,

Further Information: General History of Zionism and the Creation of Israel

Hebrew/Arabic pronunciation and transliteration conventions:

'H - ('het) a guttural sound made deep in the throat. To Western ears it may sound like the "ch" in loch. In Arabic there are several letters that have similar sounds. Examples: 'hanukah, 'hamas, 'haredi. Formerly, this sound was often represented by ch, especially in German transliterations of Hebrew. Thus, 'hanukah is often rendered as Chanuka for example.

ch - (chaf) a sound like "ch" in loch or the Russian Kh as in Khruschev or German Ach, made by putting the tongue against the roof of the mouth. In Hebrew, a chaf can never occur at the beginning of a word. At the beginning of a word, it has a dot in it and is pronounced "Kaf."

u - usually between oo as in spoon and u as in put.

a- sounded like a in arm

ah- used to represent an a sound made by the letter hey at the end of a word. It is the same sound as a. Haganah and Hagana are alternative acceptable transliterations.

'a-notation used for Hebrew and Arabic ayin, a guttural ah sound.

o - close to the French o as in homme.

th - (taf without a dot) - Th was formerly used to transliterate the Hebrew taf sound for taf without a dot. However in modern Hebrew there is no detectable difference in standard pronunciation of taf with or without a dot, and therefore Histadruth and Histadrut, Rehovoth and Rehovot are all acceptable.

q- (quf) - In transliteration of Hebrew and Arabic, it is best to consistently use the letter q for the quf, to avoid confusion with similar sounding words that might be spelled with a kaf, which should be transliterated as K. Thus, Hatiqva is preferable to Hatikva for example.

Definitions of Zionism  General History of Zionism and the Creation of Israel   History of Israel and Zionism   Historical Source Documents of Israel and Zionism

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